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Russia puts Krasnoyarsk Territory governor's son on wanted list for money laundering, possibly to thwart his extradition to US

Artem Uss, the son of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor, has been placed on Russia’s federal wanted list in a money laundering case. As TASS learned in court, Uss was arrested in absentia and could be facing a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of ~$16,000.

According to the Meshchansky Court of Moscow, Uss is being charged with “laundering particularly large sums of money or other proceeds obtained by third persons illegally as part of a criminal group” (Subclauses A and B, Part 4 of Art. 174, Russia’s Criminal Code).

This could also be Russia's attempt to thwart Uss’ extradition to the US, recalling last year’s extradition and subsequent arrest of Vladislav Klyushin, who had been in charge of developing Katyusha, a system for the monitoring of mass media and social networks commissioned by the Russian government. On December 19, 2021, Switzerland extradited Klyushin to the US, where he was charged with illegal stock trading in the amount of tens of millions of dollars. As Ruslan Koblev, the managing partner of the law firm Koblev and Partners, stated to Kommersant, Russia has successfully prevented the extradition of its nationals to third countries by initiating domestic criminal proceedings on two occasions already: “If a Russian national is being prosecuted in Russia, the court has to rule in favor of extraditing them to their home country.”

Earlier, several more Russian nationals were detained in the case of Artem Uss and his business associate Yury Orekhov and charged by the US Department of Justice with dodging sanctions and money laundering. On October 19, the DOJ indicted five Russians and two Venezuelan oil traders for evading sanctions and money laundering, including the son of Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Artem Uss, who was arrested in Italy upon the US’ request.

Artem Uss founded Sibcoal, a company that lives off government contracts for coal supplies. In 2019, Team Navalny revealed that his father, Governor Alexander Uss, owned elite properties worth $24 million. In July, he and the heads of several other Russian regions were “blacklisted” by the UK. They were banned from entering the country under any circumstances, and their British assets were frozen.

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